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Antique Celestial Maps

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Chatelain Celestial Chart
Henri Chatelain. "Nouvelle Carte de la Sphere." From Atlas Historique. Amsterdam: Chatelain, 1719. 19 3/4 x 23 1/2. Engraving. Full hand coloring. Some chips and stains in margins. Paper time-toned throughout. Overall attractive and very good condition.

A very decorative and informative series of charts showing various historic theories on the motions of the planets, issued in Henri Chatelain's Atlas Historique. The include two large charts in the top corners, flanking a nicely engraved depiction of a wooden planisphere. Down the middle are smaller images of the theories of Ptolemy, Tycho Brahe, and a celestial chart featuring images of the zodiac. Typically of Chatelain's work, there is considerable text, in French, explaining the different theories. Overall, this is a fascinating and very decorative early eighteenth century celestial chart. $750



Homann: Armillary, Terrestrial & Celestial spheres
Johann Baptist Homann after Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr. "Sphærarum Artificialium Typica Repræsentatio novissime edumbrata." Engraving. Nuremburg: J.B. Homann, ca. 1730. 19 x 22 3/4. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A lovely plate showing an armillary sphere and a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes. This plate was another based on a design by Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr. $2,400



Homann Heirs after Johann Gabriele Doppelmayr. "Astronomia Comparativa." Nuremberg, ca. 1750. Ca. 19 x 23. Original hand color. Very good condition.

The descendants of Johann Baptist Homann, trading as Homann Heirs, continued to issue the Doppelmayr charts. This is a nice example of one of their charts from about mid-century. $950



Cosmography Epitomised
Cosmological charts by Samuel Dunn. London: Robert Sayer, 1786. Approx. 15 1/4 x 22. Engravings. Some transference and spotting throughout. Otherwise, very good condition.

This interesting group of cosmological charts are from Samuel Dunn. Dunn was a mathematician, and teacher as well as a publisher of maps and atlases. Here, information is given concerning points of stars, time as it relates to latitude and longitude, and distances between the planets and sun.


Jamieson: Cygnus et al
Alexander Jamieson. "Cygnus, Lacerta & Lyra" From A Celestial Atlas Comprising A Systematic Display of the Heavens. London: G. & W.B. Whittaker, [Febr. 1, 1822]. Second edition, Sept. 1822. 7 x 9. Engraving. Hand color. Full margins. Very good condition.

A print of several constellations from a handsome series of engraved celestial maps with attractive hand coloring. These sky charts were drawn by Alexander Jamieson, stated on the title page to be "Author of a Grammar of Logic & Intellectual Philosophy, Rhetoric & Polite Literature &c." Jamieson's maps were based primarily on the work of Johann Elert Bode, though Jamieson is insistent that his maps are improved from Bode's. The charts contain primarily depictions of stars visible to the naked eye, with the constellations drawn in for clarity. Most maps include a few major constellations featured in the image, the hand color emphasizing their designs. Other constellations are shown in outline, but without color. The maps are beautifully done and the atlas earned the honor of being allowed to be dedicated to King George IV. $250
GoGo to page with listing of other Jamieson celestial maps



Hercules and Corona Borealis
Samuel Leigh. "Hercules and Corona Borealis." From Urania's Mirror, or a View of the Heavens. London: S. Leigh, [1823]. Engraved chart mounted on card with tissue backing. Original hand color. 7 3/4 x 5 3/8. Very good condition. Ref.: Peter Whitfield, The Mapping of the Heavens, pp. 112-13.

A charming and ingenious series of celestial charts showing the constellations as known in the early nineteenth century. The constellations are each depicted with a delightful zodiac vignette image, the stars also noted, and the entire card is highlighted with bright hand color. What is of particular interest and novelty, though, is the fact that the major stars are also indicated with a pierced hole in the card, letting the star locations shine through when the card is held to a light. Besides the many standard figures of the zodiac, which had long been used for mnemonic devices, many current figures that are no long used are shown, such as a printing press and an "aerostatique" balloon. Unusual and most attractive. $350
GoGo to page with listing of other Leigh celestial charts



Elijah H. Burritt. From Atlas, Designed to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens. Hartford: F.J. Huntington, 1835. Engravings. Original hand color. Good to very good condition, with blemishes as noted.



Solar System
Asa Smith. "Solar System From Smith's Illustrated Astronomy, Designed for the Use of the Public or Common Schools in the United States. New York: Cady & Burgess, (1848-)1851. Ca. 10 x 8. Wood cut. Very good condition. Denver.

From a series of celestial illustrations included in Asa Smith's Illustrated Astronomy. Written by the principal of Public School No. 12 in New York City, this work was aimed at school students. Smith stated is goal as "to present all the distinguishing principles in physical Astronomy with as few words as possible," and his text was presented in fifty separate lessons with a series of questions and answers. The handsome charts of the planets and stars are printed predominantly in black, which makes the images as similar as possible to what one would actually see in the night skies. A nice example of this striking series of instructive astronomical illustrations from the mid nineteenth century. $75
GoGo to page with other maps by Asa Smith



Print by Johann Georg Heck. Pl. 12 "Nördliche Sternkarte."From Incongraphic Encyclopaedia of Science, Literature, and Art. Leipzig: circa 1851. Approx. 8 1/4 x 10 1/2. Engraving. Very good condition.

First published in 1851, Heck's encyclopedia was based on Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus's Bilderatlas, which was one of the finest encyclopedias of its day. $85



Elijah H. Burritt. "The Constellations (October, November, December)." From Atlas, Designed to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens. New York: Hiram Mattison, 1856. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition. Framed. $265



Alexander Keith Johnston. "Map of the Lines of Equal Polarization in the Atmosphere." From Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1856. Ca. 19 x 24 1/2. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition.

An interesting image from an unusual atlas; its focus is neither political nor historical, but on the geographic distributions throughout the world of such objects of scientific endeavor as species, mineral deposits, occurrence of disease, volcanic activity, climactic variation, et al. Each study is meticulously detailed and attractively depicted. Here, the scientific property of polarization is depicted. A mid nineteenth century example of fine British cartography and scientific observation and interpretation combined. $55



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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated July 27, 2014